Quality education is a dream that every country must pursue for the good of its people. There are strict parameters that define education that meets quality standards. One of the characteristics of quality education is objectivity. There must be clear ends to education, and the process of pedagogy must adhere to this objectivity. Therefore, the curriculum, field work, an all other supporting activities must promote the objectives of the education for a country. Equality in education also ensures that quality education in the country is assured. Each graduate from any university in the country must depict the attributes of a student after undergoing higher education in the country (Corner & Rabovsky 112). All Americans, regardless of their socio-economic status, gender, or ethnicity must be subjected to a relatively even education to homogenize the employability skills in the country. This dream is only achievable through equitable distribution of education-related resources. The teachers allocated for each district schools must have the same level of education and exposure to pedagogical skills. The government should also distribute educational facilities equally in terms of geographical location and physical facilities (Heller 19). When the education is offered at a level ground, it becomes easier to offer quality education that meets the desired effects for national growth. The American Dream is partly anchored in the pursuit of individual and collective upward social mobility, and quality and equitable education is the primary avenue to achieving these aspirations.
Karl Marx provides very important insights in the field of education and shows how it can determine the market forces shaping the economy. At the beginning of his treatise communist manifesto, Marx is utterly critical of the class differences that exist in the capitalistic society. He decries the over-exploitation of the working class by the industrialists, and expresses his dissatisfaction on how the rich appropriate themselves with the returns made from the toil of the laborers (Marx & Engels 52). At this point, Mark conjectures that the solution to this long-standing class struggle and differences is the revolution of the society, where the capitalistic class will be abolished. The new structure of the society will, therefore, comprise of communists and proletarians. Although the former will provide employment opportunities to the former, there would be an equitable distribution of wealth in the community. Among the amenities that the communist society will provide for the people is public education. This education, as compared to the one in an earlier society, would be equal for all classes of people in the society (Marx & Engel 55). Therefore, each child will have a chance to go up the economic ladder, and become an industrial producer in the future economy. Public education will also be free, meaning that all children will have an equal chance to attend school. Additionally, the communists system shall abolish the child labor, where all children will get a chance to have an education while their parents work for them (Marx & Engels 60). In Marxs view, a communist society lives blissfully where a child from whichever level of wealthy will get an equal chance to liberate his family from poverty. They will interact with children from higher classes in the society and adopt a new mentality of hard work and commitment. When the free education is sponsored by the government, learning resources will be availed adequately. Teachers will be state trained, and the education in the country will be homogenized.
The two most important functions of education are the emancipation of a person from ignorance and to equip them with the necessary skills to fight poverty. There is a correlation between the level of education an individual and their position in the socio-economic ladder (Corner & Rabovsky 115). However, the goals of education can only be achieved if the curriculum offered in the schools is quality and objective. The objectivity of education is a function of myriad other factors like policy, funding, and government support. Education, according to Karl Mark empowers people and moves them from being mere laborers to industrialists. The industrialists control the economy and shape the market forces by determining wages and prices of essential commodities. The rich people in the country continue to become rich, while the middle and lower clashes suffer in perpetual deprivation (Reich, cited in Lee 515). This pitiful situation can be sustained if the education opportunities offered to the public are not equal. If the education system unfavorably ejects some people from academic excellence, the latter automatically enter the lower class where they continuously suffer from oppression by the rich. According to Reich, the upper class citizens are the products of an education that prepared them to become engineers and architects (520). The products of their education sell in the international market. Therefore, this cohort of graduates has less competition for the local market. They sell their products expensively to the lower and middle classes. Eventually, the lower class continues to languish in poverty and it struggles to make ends meet through meager income. In some cases, the graduates do not find very well paying jobs, neither do they lack a job to do. These people enter the middle class and forever live in a status quo. In a nutshell, education offered by the schools at all levels should aim at producing graduate who will occupy the upper class and nothing less.
State education is taking a very dangerous turn in the view of some scholars. Unfortunately, the government has over time implemented laws that are counterproductive in the education sector. The No Child Left Behind, for instance, requires that every child meets a certain minimum threshold of performance,. The same laws also sponsor the privatization of education and the adoption of a market models for the management of education system. In the process, charter schools arise as a group of ventures by scrupulous business people. The standard tests thus administered to the students lack their relevance, since the entrepreneurs are more concerned with the facade of performance, rather than the long term achievement of the student in class. These sentiments are shared by Diane Ravitch in the Reign of Error. She decries the sorry state in which public schools operate. She cites that the Public education has fallen into the Abyss (14). She terms privatization as a hoax that the government has blindly funded over time. Standardized testing, according to her, no longer meets its aspirations. There is an apparent gap between the education standards for the whites and the non-whites. In particular, she states that Black and Hispanic children are lagging behind in education. There is a very simple explanation to his observation. Since charter schools are in the business of making grades and getting a name for themselves, they refuse to admit children that have disabilities to prevent the drop in the overall score. Ravitch further decries the White Houses neglect of the maxims of education funding. More funding is diverted to states that open more charter schools, while those that have stuck to the conventional methods of children are neglected or underfunded. Therefore, Ravitch says that the government is its own undoing, and the privatization trend needs a prompt review.
Martin Luther King Jnr. in his famous speech I have a dream cited that the greatest nation on earth was yet to allocate adequate resources for education (King 18). King was concerned with how massive funding was channeled to creating highways and amusement parks. The public education system, according to King was pauperized. His statement was complementary to the fact that there was widespread segregation of students along racial lines. The activism by King sensitized the government on the need to provide equality in education as well as other areas of the society. Education has been accepted as the means to emancipation from injustice. King was educated and therefore enlightened. Most of his activism was accomplished by a group of educated youths called the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). His involvement with this group and outfits of a similar makeup showed that he believed in the power of enlightenment through education. King understood that such committees would be much committed to their course since they understood what they were fighting for. His association with learned people brought closer his achievements as they were inspired by stories of similar group that had achieved liberation in other parts of the world. The Tiananmen Square demonstrations were also made possible through the rallying of college and universities students (Lui140). Education therefore allows people to fight for equity and equality in training and other areas.
There are several parameters that measure the quality of education. The first parameter is affordability. Affordability of education determines the number of people pursuing education to the highest level possible. This assertion means that if education is cheap, and the loans used to fund it are accessible to all Americas, many people from any background can attend schools, universities and colleges and land well-paying jobs afterwards (Shen & Adrian 321). Quality education is also measured by the content offered in school. This content must be congruent with the skills set that employers are looking for. Asserting these skills sets in educations means that the universities should first evaluate a course vis a vis its need in the market before enrolling students for it. Quality education is also measured by the number of teachers offering instructions to the learners. A high teacher to student ratio is bound to be productive than a lower one. On the other hand, equality in education is a core principle that educationists must emphasize on. This means that the schools in the country should be equally distributed in all districts in the nation. There should also be desegregation of schools where any student can attend their school of choice regardless of the racial background. Although the government has worked tirelessly to assert this position, 40% of black and Hispanic students still attended racially segregated schools (Banks 131).
In conclusion, it is the mandate of the government to ensure equality in education while maintaining high standards of quality in this sector. Karl Marx and Martin Luther King Jnr. fought for equality in education. The latter, in particular, associated with learned folks to assert his value in education. Several writers like Diane Ravitch and Robert Reich implicitly or explicitly emphasize the importance of education in creating financially stable societies. Some of the parameters that are used to qualify education as standard include affordability of students loans and the apparent distribution of state schools in the country. The extent by which the nation has achieved desegregation is also an important marker of its success towards offering equitable education for all.
Banks, Taunya Lovell. "The unfinished journey-education, equality and Martin Luther King, Jr. revisited." (2013).
Conner, Thaddieus W., and Thomas M. Rabovsky. "Accountability, affordability, access: A review of the recent trends in higher education policy research." Policy Studies Journal 39.s1 (2011): 93-112.
Heller, Donald E., ed. The states and public higher education policy: Affordability, access, and accountability. JHU Press, 2001.
Jacobus, Lee A. A world of ideas: Essential readings for college writers. Ed. Lee A. Jacobus. St. Martin's Press, 1986.King Jr, Martin Luther. "I have a dream." The...
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